Harry Rosen celebrates 60 years in style

Harry Rosen celebrates 60 years in style

After six decades of steering the fashion choices of Canadian men, retailer has eyes on the future. The next time you’re shopping at Harry Rosen’s Bloor St. location on a Saturday afternoon, don’t be surprised if Harry himself helps you find just the right fit. Whether a Hugo Boss suit with a check shirt and a pocket square designed by local artist Gary Taxali or an Eton sports jacket and a pair of cotton pants,…

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Oscar Micheaux and the birth of black cinema

Oscar Micheaux and the birth of black cinema

From 1919 to 1948, Oscar Micheaux directed 42 films with all-black casts shown to black audiences in black theatres. In Classified X, a documentary about Hollywood’s history of racist portrayals of African-Americans, a montage ends on a shot of a frightened black actor, teeth chattering, seeking consolation from his white boss. “Why is he so scared?” asks narrator Melvin Van Peebles. Cutting to the iconic photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith,…

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Mix things up with barrel-aged cocktails

Mix things up with barrel-aged cocktails

Pre-mixing and barrel-aging cocktails might downplay the theatrics of modern-day bartending, but can offer a tastier, mellower drink. When hosting a cocktail party during the holidays, you want to mingle with guests, not spend the entire evening mixing drinks. “It’s the worst part about being me,” jokes Dante Conception Jr., creative director at Spirithouse on Adelaide St. W. “When I have people over or I go to a party, they know I make cocktails for…

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The Changeling & other Canadian flicks you don’t want to watch alone

The Changeling & other Canadian flicks you don’t want to watch alone

TIFF’s Halloween showcase makes us think about Canadian horror. There’s no shortage of horror playing on Toronto screens on Halloween night, but TIFF Bell Lightbox takes a patriotic route with The Changeling (1980) and Ginger Snaps (2000), two pivotal Canadian horror films. “Even though Canadian films are known primarily as an auteur cinema, there’s a long-running history of genre and horror cinema,” says Canadian Open Vault programmer Steve Gravestock. The Changeling, which stars George C….

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Whisky: the art of blending

Whisky: the art of blending

John Hall loves collaboration. When the former winemaker founded Forty Creek Whisky in 1992 — Ontario’s first new whisky distillery since 1939 — he wanted to bring blended Canadian whisky to a new level of taste and appreciation. Earlier this year, Hall’s whiskies won five gold medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. At a Forty Creek tasting at the Toronto Temperance Society on College St., Hall offered attendees three separate glasses filled with…

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Toronto Cocktail Week: Bartender tells the story behind Sex and the City’s favourite drink

Toronto Cocktail Week: Bartender tells the story behind Sex and the City’s favourite drink

This article originally appeared in the Toronto Star on September 26, 2013. Dale DeGroff offered up the Cosmo to Madonna at the Rainbow Room in 1988. The rest is history. While the jury is still out on who invented the Cosmopolitan cocktail, any bartender will tell you the vodka and cranberry drink was popularized by Dale DeGroff, who revitalized the moribund cocktail scene in the 1980s. According to DeGroff, the drink was created in test…

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Saturday Night at the Movies: An oral history

Saturday Night at the Movies: An oral history

Hosts Johanna Schneller and Thom Ernst and others share memories of the TVO series and its longtime host, Elwy Yost. — This weekend, TVO’s venerable Saturday Night at the Movies airs its final program. It began in 1974 after TVO employee Elwy Yost and manager Jim Hanley cooked up the idea of an educational series about movies, with Yost as its onscreen face. Its demise comes as a result of budget cuts at TVO. In…

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TV, radio repair makes a comeback in Toronto

TV, radio repair makes a comeback in Toronto

A slew of modern-day flat-screen TVs stickered with repair tags form a narrow pathway through American Electronics Service, a television and radio repair shop on Dundas St. W. “Despite our disposable culture, I’m busier than I’ve ever been,” says John Fadel, whose business, first opened by his father in the 1950s, has been a Junction fixture since 1973. In an era when keeping up with new technologies can seem daunting, television and audio repair shops,…

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What’s vital in a cocktail? Good spirits, say old hands

What’s vital in a cocktail? Good spirits, say old hands

This article originally appeared in the Toronto Star on July 7, 2013. Advice is flowing freely ahead of Monday’s world-class cocktail mixing competition at the Toronto SoHo Metropolitan Hotel. Philip Duff spends much of his time judging cocktail competitions. Ironic, he says, because the world-renown mixologist never won anything when he was an up-and-coming bartender. “When I started out, a contest was for a case of light beer and a T-shirt, and it was judged by…

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Macallan releasing new range of single malt whiskies

Macallan releasing new range of single malt whiskies

This article originally appeared in the Toronto Star on July 2, 2013. Macallan distillery is releasing a new range of single malts, eschewing age statements in lieu of wood maturation. In Skyfall, James Bond is seen sipping Macallan Scotch whisky. The British secret agent might prefer his martini shaken, not stirred, but how old does he like his single malt scotch? It soon won’t matter. With the release of its new 1824 range, available at…

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